Parkyn, S. M, Collier, K. J. & Hicks, B. J. (2002). Growth and population dynamics of crayfish Paranephrops planifrons in streams within native forest and pastoral land uses. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 36, 847-861.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/1573
Population dynamics of crayfish (Paranephrops planifrons White) in streams draining native forest and pastoral catchments, Waikato, New Zealand, were investigated from September 1996 to July 1998. Crayfish densities were generally greater in native forest streams because of high recruitment over summer, but varied greatly between streams in both land uses. Peak densities in summer were 9 crayfish m-2 in native forest and 6 crayfish m-2 in pasture streams, but peak biomass in summer was much greater in pasture streams. Mark-recapture data showed that crayfish, particularly juveniles, in pasture streams grew faster than in native forest streams, through both greater moult frequency and larger moult increments. Females reached reproductive size at c. 20 mm orbit-carapace length (OCL) after their first year in pasture streams, but after 2 years in native forest streams. Annual degree days >10°C appeared to explain the differences in the timing of life cycles. Estimates of annual crayfish production (range = 0.8-3.4 g dry weight m-2 year-1) were similar in both land uses, and P/B ratios were between 0.95 and 1.2. Despite deforestation and conversion to pasture, crayfish in these Waikato hill-country streams have maintained similar levels of annual production to those in native forest streams, although juvenile growth rates have increased and longevity has decreased.
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